Votes finalized in McHenry County from March primary; Eric Hendricks prevails as GOP county board nominee

With votes finalized following a Monday canvass in McHenry County, the Mental Health Board sales tax has officially passed and incumbent McHenry County Board member Eric Hendricks will appear on the November ballot, beating out challenger Robert “Bob” Nowak.

Voter turnout was just over 18%, with roughly 36,700 voters casting a ballot in the primary. About 3.6% of voters opted to cast a nonpartisan ballot, which allowed them to weigh in on referendums like the Mental Health Board sales tax but not on candidates.

The majority of voters, 54.3%, pulled a Republican ballot, while 42.2% pulled a Democratic ballot, according to the canvass.

The Mental Health Board sales tax won by about six percentage points. About 19,000 voters, or 53%, voted in favor, while just under 16,800 voted no. Another 885 voters pulled the ballot but did not vote on the measure.

Come July 1, a 0.25% sales tax will be levied on most items in the county, but groceries and medicine will be exempt. In exchange, county leaders have vowed to remove the portion of the property tax earmarked for the Mental Health Board. It’s on the county board’s agenda for next week.

The McHenry County Board had two competitive primaries this election.

A rematch took place in District 3, which covers parts of Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood and a piece of Huntley.

Nowak, who was on the board before losing to Hendricks and Democrat Carolyn Campbell in 2022, sought to unseat Hendricks. Hendricks won the race, garnering 808 votes to Nowak’s 766.

Hendricks will face Democrat Rester Dogboe in the fall. Dogboe earned 116 votes and the Democratic nomination for the seat in a write-in primary campaign.

In District 7, which encompasses Wonder Lake and parts of Woodstock, McHenry and Bull Valley, Paul Thomas won about 65% of the vote, defeating Peter Suffield for the Republican nomination for the seat.

Thomas will face incumbent Democrat Lou Ness for the seat in the fall.

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